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F-104D Starfighter - 57-1315 - AFFTC Edwards AFB, 1960

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Probably not a bad idea. I  might not get me the full effect, but should at least let me know if Im headed in the right direction.


Im hoping because Im putting the bulb inside the acrylic rod (via a appropriately sized hole drilled in the end to sink the larger exhaust bulb into) that the exhaust lighting effect will be greater down the length of the clear rod VS just shining it at the end of the rod like a fiber optic strand. 

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Yup, that acrylic can be expensive. However, you can get a piece of 1” acrylic tubing for about 20 bucks-ish. That would be a bit of a cheaper option to experiment with for scuffing and painting. At least you are not out much for having a go.


Keep up the good work, bud. I will be watching!




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I have not been dormant!  At least not fully....................


Got some real progress on the pit. Ive gotten the pilots started and a lot of the interior work done:








The pilots USAF TPS  patch, and his AFFTC patches proved a real bugger! I was going to make them on decal paper, but they are SO small to be able to fit onto his shoulders, (1.5 - 2mm big) that I just cut them out of ultra thin paper and used foil glue to adhere them to the pilots shoulders. 

They are far FAR from perfect, or even great, but again, they are so small as to be illegible anyway, but they do dress the pilot up a bit, and since the canopies will be full closed in flight, I think they will be fine:


Air Force Test Pilots School patch





Air Force Flight Testing Center patch








Our backseat observer/camera man got some paint too:








I didnt go crazy with the seats, as again the canopy will be close, and the pilot and observer will take most of the focus away from the seats. They are still far from finished here, but are on their way there:






Got some paint/a start on the cockpit tub too:






Still MUCH touching up to do on the tub, but it also is on its way:









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A start on some heads too. Macro lens does NOTHING to improve their looks but they do look better w/the Mk 1 eyeball  in person VS the camera lens:





Some additions to the pilots head on top, and the observers head on the back:








I think this vignette/in-flight display will be titled: "Lucky 7s First Ride!"







And here we have the fellas with their heads attached!   Some of this paint work will be hidden by the forthcoming seat belts however:








I I also finished up the Paillard-Bolex H-16 camera as well. Not as perfect as I would have hoped, but again with the canopies being closed I think the effect should be there:














Thats it for this update, but I think tonight I shall make a start on the point Ive been dreading a bit.................making and attaching the seatbelts so they fit connected up around the pilot and observer! 

I think it could prove to be a giant PITA..........but we shall see how it goes!


Cheers for now gents!

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Looking good but the camera is fantastic!

I'm not a figurepainter but maybe you can add some more shadows and highlights for the pilot. The orange flightsuit looks somewhat flat. The suit of the observer seems to have some more depth.

Edited by Fvdm

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Nice work on the aircrew, one thing to note, they wore spurs attached to their boots so if they had to eject they took their legs with them:





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That's great, Brian!  The crew looks sweet, and the shoulder patches definitely look the part.  The camera is an awesome addition.

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Love that camera!

As for the straps, you can do what figure sculptors do: flatten a small blob of Milliput with a small cylinder like an X-Acto knife handle, cut the resulting sheet into ribbons and position the ribbons on the figures while the Milliput is still soft.



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Thanks gents! Yes, not all as perfect as Id hoped, and I may add some more shading to the pilots, but honestly, they are both going to be strapped into their seats, with belts, and under a closed canopy, so I probably wont do too much more to their feet, as they just plain wont be visible. 


Im about to start back in working on the seat belts...............


As I suspected trying to get these Eduard fabric belts to actually assemble into  working belt system for the pilot and camera man has proven to be nearly impossible. I think I may try a different approach.........


More later! 

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Thanks again all!  I've done some more highlighting to the pilot and observer, but they still look a little flat in pics, but are surprisingly much better IRL w/the Mk 1 eyeball. My phone camera is just not too great, and does not really pick up on the highlights I added.


Well, either way, the boys are now fully seated and strapped in!










The seats are far from done, as I still need to add some more details including the thigh guards. As you can see at the bottom of the scree above, even though I do not have the replacement electrical board for the light set up yet, I started working on hollowing out all the IP instrument holes in prep for adding the lighting, and for the IPs themselves, the fiber optic cabling. 
Here I used the Eduard front covers as templates to scrap off the OOB detail, and make all the appropriate holes to allow light in. Later I will add a backing with holes the exact size of the fiber optic cable, that I can glue them into. I still have yet to cut the radar openings:








After getting the boys seated, and getting their harnesses squared away, I decided to see how they fit in the airframe, and see how close my calculations had come as far as fit goes............specifically if I had enough room for my observer and his raised arm.

Fortunately, the calculations seemed to be fairly on, and "Lucky 7" has enough room to shake his fist vigorously in excitement! 

The fit of all 5 canopy parts is shockingly good:












The F104 cockpits are super cramped, and honestly not a whole lot below the side console level will be super visible.  I think having the IP instruments lit, as well as a light for each pits side consoles will help a long way to seeing some kind of detail in there honestly. 








Im hoping to get the replacement electronic board this week, as I really cant move forward with much else besides further detail on the seats without finalizing the power set up.  Next up until I get the replacement board is getting the boys O2 supply hoses set up using guitar strings. 


Hopefully more to come soon! 


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Thanks, and no I can't! It's going to be a challenge to stuff that camera in there after completing the pit.


I still haven't gotten the replacement board so I'm stuck a bit before I can continue.

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